One of my favorite quotes about education comes from ancient Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle.

One of my favorite quotes about education comes from ancient Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle.

He said: "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."

In Dublin City Schools, not only do we believe this to be absolutely true, we put this philosophy into action. The number of "giving back" projects taking place in our schools this time of year is truly astounding.

Community service and character development are important Dublin City School District values and huge parts of the Dublin Difference. We believe in character education and in developing a culture of community service.

During the months of November and December, students and staff throughout the district are engaged in a wide variety of projects to provide toys for needy children, money for just causes, and food for the hungry.

They are not receiving a grade, the work is not part of any curriculum and the results are not judged by a standardized test.

We live in a community where our students and parents share these values and we all work together to provide those less fortunate with material and emotional support through partners such as Welcome Warehouse and the Dublin Food Pantry.

Many of our efforts are year-round, not limited to the holiday season or a particular cause. The Blessings in a Backpack program takes place year-round at Riverside, Wright and Chapman elementary schools, providing food for the weekends for students and their families in need of some assistance.

On April 7, members of my student advisory committee will once again bring the community the Dublin City Schools Dodgeball Championships, donating 100 percent of the proceeds to worthy causes.

On April 22, we will join with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and recognize students and staff who represent the best of volunteerism, caring, and selflessness at the Community Champion Awards program.

Whereas these individuals are certainly not seeking recognition, the program provides our community with the opportunity to not only say thank you, but to reaffirm our commitment to giving.

I would like to give a special mention to our teaching staff. These dedicated educators do so much for students the public never sees.

I hear story after story about teachers who spend their own money to buy supplies for students who can't afford them.

Stories about teachers who basically run a makeshift free clothing shop out of the school, stories about teachers giving up weekends and evenings to assist students and their families with a wide variety of needs.

All while protecting and uplifting their dignity and pride.

The scope of the caring and giving that takes place in our district each year is hard to describe in one piece.

You can learn more about the great projects our students and staff have completed at www.dublinschools.net/GivingBack2016.aspx.

Every single one of our 20 schools has engaged in a project to help individuals or an organization in need of assistance.

The caring spirit of our staff and students is the core of the Dublin Difference and is more important in the development of our students than the most effective standardized test ever devised.

I invite you to share your pictures and stories of the great things being done in our community with me on Twitter @toddhoadley using #DCSgivesback and/or #theDublinDifference. I wish you all a great holiday break, filled with family and friends, and the happiest of new years in 2017.

Dublin City School District Superintendent Todd Hoadley, Ph.D., submitted the From the Superintendent's Desk column.